In the context of the Ugandan refugee response, Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) can be understood as an active commitment by humanitarian actors to take account of, give account to and be held accountable by People of Concern (PoC). More broadly, it refers to responsible use of power by humanitarian actors combined with the responsibility of advocating for the empowerment and participation in decision-making of the people they seek to serve, and ensuring that outcomes are driven by their needs and preferences, while preserving their rights, safety and dignity. In practice, this means that PoCs have a say in decisions that affect their lives, receive timely, accessible and life-saving information they need to make informed decisions, have access to safe and responsive feedback and complaint mechanisms and have equitable access to assistance in proportion to their needs, priorities and preferences. Putting people at the centre of humanitarian response is critical for ensuring effectiveness, consistency and appropriateness of the humanitarian response.
The objectives of the AAP Task Team is to help facilitate a coordinated approach to AAP initiatives in the Ugandan Refugee Response, support the development of an inter-agency strategy, develop a common set of response-wide indicators to track progress made in terms of AAP from the perspectives of refugees, provide technical support to sectors and partners, and to support advocacy and resource mobilization among actors on related issues. During COVID-19 the Task Team will also support and coordinate COVID-19 risk communication to ensure that PoCs have access to accurate life-saving information in a timely manner.
The Task Team will maintain a community-centered and conflict-sensitive approach, guided by the do-noharm and age, gender and diversity (AGD) principles in its work (which also addresses stigma and mitigates rumor mongering), while identifying and supporting outcomes that will deliver the best results for the affected population in the refugee response.
It is a prerequisite for the success of the AAP Task Team that members across agencies proactively work together to achieve shared objectives. Where possible, the Task Team will seek to delegate responsibilities and assign tasks to participating members with regards to strategies, sensitization, capacity building, technical support and related topics.